TITLE

Coating of tips for electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy by means of silicon, magnesium, and tungsten oxides

AUTHOR(S)
Salerno, Marco
PUB. DATE
September 2010
SOURCE
Review of Scientific Instruments;Sep2010, Vol. 81 Issue 9, p093703
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Different combinations of metal tips and oxide coatings have been tested for possible operation in electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy. Silicon and magnesium oxides have been thermally evaporated onto gold and platinum-iridium tips, respectively. Two different thickness values have been explored for both materials, namely, 40 and 120 nm for silicon oxide and 20 and 60 nm for magnesium oxide. Alternatively, tungsten oxide has been grown on tungsten tips via electrochemical anodization. In the latter case, to seek optimal results we have varied the pH of the anodizing electrolyte between one and four. The oxide coated tips have been first inspected by means of scanning electron microscopy equipped with microanalysis to determine the morphological results of the coating. Second, the coated tips have been electrically characterized ex situ for stability in time by means of cyclic voltammetry in 1 M aqueous KCl supporting electrolyte, both bare and supplemented with K3[Fe(CN)6] complex at 10 mM concentration in milliQ water as an analyte. Only the tungsten oxide coated tungsten tips have shown stable electrical behavior in the electrolyte. For these tips, the uncoated metal area has been estimated from the electrical current levels, and they have been successfully tested by imaging a gold grating in situ, which provided stable results for several hours. The successful tungsten oxide coating obtained at pH=4 has been assigned to the WO3 form.
ACCESSION #
54049788

 

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